Updated: Jan 11
The Bengals are making their first appearance on the Power Rankings this season. The Bengals just beat the division leading Titans, and they are on a three game winning streak. What's even more impressive is they have been putting these wins together without Ja'Marr Chase. Chase should be coming back in Week 13. Now that the Bengals are tied with the Ravens, this next week could determine who takes the division. The Bengals could start climbing the Power Rankings or fall off the map.
The Ravens have fallen two spots after their terrible loss to the Jaguars. The Ravens are my Super Bowl pick, but they do not look like a team that will do well in the postseason. The defense has been bad, and I wonder if it's the players or the scheme. I suggest scheme because Ravens defense has players, but it's not translating. Once again, Lamar Jackson got the Ravens a lead. Once again, the defense choked the lead away, and the Ravens lost.
I blame the Ravens organization. They say they want to win a Super Bowl, but they don't look like it. They won't pay their franchise QB what the market dictates he is worth. At the same time, they aren't spending the money to make their team scary. The Ravens traded for defenders and they drafted defenders, but the defense is the biggest problem with the Ravens. Also, Lamar doesn't have weapons. He has one good tight end, Mark Andrews, and a patchwork of running backs and receivers that would be third options on other teams. This year's draft had tons of receiver talent and explosive running backs. The league had the most movement of receivers in recent times. What did the Ravens do? They traded away Marquise Brown, and now he is a number two.
Look around the division. AFC North Conference Champion Bengals get Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon, Hayden Hurst, and Tyler Boyd. The playoff Steelers have Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Pat Freiermuth, and Najee Harris. The Browns received Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper, and they have a great group of running backs and tight ends. The Ravens probably have the worst weapons in the division, which is unfair to Lamar. We have never seen Lamar's potential because he has never had a solid number one receiver. Also, we saw what he did with Mark Ingram. What could he have done with Breece Hall, Kenneth Walker, or Dameon Pierce? Ask yourself this question out of the last three Super Bowl winners, which one do the Ravens look like? The Rams, Bucs, or Chiefs?
The Giants lost to the Cowboys, which is why they are down two spots in the Power Rankings. Also, they are ranked above the Ravens because they beat them. However, the Giants should be concerned. They have fallen further back in the division and the Commanders could catch the Giants. The Giants have some injured players, and they weren't that talented in the first place. They could really slide in the last half of the season. What happens next will determine if Brian Daboll wins the Coach of the Year award.
The 49ers are the best 7-4 team, but only for this fleeting moment. Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, and Deebo Samuel are dealing with injuries that bring this team down a bit. The 49ers were able to escape with a win after only scoring thirteen points because of the defense. However, every team won't be as limited as the Saints. If those players miss an extended period of time, will the 49ers be able to hold up?
The Cowboys are up two spots after beating the Giants and, subsequently, stealing their spot on the Power Rankings. The Cowboys are coming off back-to-back wins after the Packer loss. They are playing well on both sides of the ball. The Cowboys are playing complementary football. As long as they keep doing that, they will be golden. The Cowboys don't have a hard schedule outside of the Eagles. If they can stay on track, they can get the number one seed and make it farther in the playoffs than last year.
The Bills have defended their spot at number five by stacking back-to-back wins since their very public Vikings loss. We all know that the Bills have the talent to be a serious threat in the playoffs, but will they? For example, they were lucky to beat a Lions team that didn't even have their best corner. Also, Josh Allen isn't finding Gabe Davis very often. If they are going to be successful, Josh has to be comfortable going to all three main weapons. Also, the Bills kind of fluctuated on the run game against the Lions, and I think that's why they struggled late in the game. But they got the win, and they can make it back to being a top team as long as they keep improving.
The Dolphins defended their spot at four by getting yet another win and continuing Tua Tagovailoa's undefeated streak. This was probably the Dolphins most impressive win of the season. Even bad competition can be a good measure of a team's talent, if they beat the hell out of them like they are a good team. That's precisely what happened. The Dolphins beat the Texans in one half of football, scoring 30 points and shutting the Texans out. In the second half, the starters sat, and they still won by 15. It's the most dominant performance this season.
The Vikings defended their spot at three by beating the Patriots on Thanksgiving. Kirk Cousins won in primetime, and the offense looked good. However, the defense still looks like a liability. They allowed Mac Jones to throw for nearly 400 yards and gave up 26 points to a Patriots team that just isn't that talented. If the Vikings want this year to be different, they have to be better on defense.
The Chiefs defended their spot at two by beating the Rams. The Chiefs won easily. The Rams are a shell of themselves and had no chance to combat the Chiefs. However, the Chiefs looked sloppy. Patrick Mahomes threw a silly red zone interception, and he only had a QB rating of 85. Hopefully, the sloppy play was just about the Chiefs overlooking the Rams. Otherwise, the Chiefs are breathing down the Eagles neck for the number one spot in the NFL.
The Eagles are still the reigning, defending best team in the NFL. Also, Jalen Hurts is still the leading MVP candidate. The Eagles put up 40 points on the Packers defense, and Jalen Hurts outdueled Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love. The Eagles are trying to outrun the Cowboys and the Chiefs. So far, they have done a great job. The Eagles are the number one team for the eighth consecutive week. Can they keep this up?